• Claire Dunnett

Quality V's Quantity

This is an absolute no brainer for me but never the less it is a subject that seems to crop up in conversation with customers and the media a lot more often than I would ever have realised.

Let me explain......

Only too often do I receive random phone calls from large advertising houses and magazines who start asking questions about my chunky knits and business model.

Phone conversations often start with "Would it be possible to speak to whoever is in charge of marketing please?' Obviously this makes me smile and 'Yes, that would be me!' is always the reply.

However flattering I find the lovely conversations that I have with others where they are oohing and aaahing about my designs, at the end of the day it all comes down to me to make the decisions.

Now, as much as my Dunnknit Designs business is my 'baby' and I am extremely proud of what I have achieved so far as a 'One girl band', I find myself contemplating what the future holds and where will the business take me in the future. (If only I had a crystal ball)

It's a year later this month since I officially started Dunnknit Designs and although I feel as if I have never worked so hard in my entire life, it has been the most enjoyable experience ever too!

Over the last 12 months I have designed and made a complete catalogue of Chunky Knits of which I am very proud and customers are beginning to come back for more. Here's a taster of what's available at Dunnknit Designs.

Dunnknit Designs has grown immensely over the last 12 months and I am now at the point where I have a lovely steady flow of orders with a steady income. (how lucky am I?) I am able to pay personal attention to customers and communicate as I would expect as a customer myself. I know every inch of the business inside and out as 'I do everything!' From taking orders to making and processing the chunky knits to packaging and arranging courier services. It all comes down to little old me.

Now the best part of my job is the fact that I am able to pay every ounce of attention to customers, my Chunky knit designs and lets not forget my Merino Artwork which I adore. I love discussing bespoke items and commission pieces with customers when they have a specific request and love nothing more that making a special item and sending it off to a very happy customer.

However, the attention is in the detail for me. It starts by treating the giant Merino Wool with care when it is in its initial delicate state, then on to taking my time actually making the item where I pay scrupulous attention to detail. For example, I don't just whip up a blanket before a coffee break, I take my time. I ensure that stitches are even, sizes are correct and eventually that the finished, processed, tagged item is as perfect as it can be and this takes time and lots of it. Time which I feel such a beautiful, expensive medium such as Giant Merino Wool fully deserves.

Even when packaging an item, I use a tonal colour of tissue paper to enhance the visual introduction to a new item and once safely packaged in its box, I cover the boxes with white polythene sheeting to protect the Chunky Knits or Artwork from being damaged on it's journey to it's new home.

I'm meticulous about neat and tidy packaging and I always include a handwritten card too! I love communicating with customers. I'll always let you know when your order is ready to be shipped with tracking and courier details where necessary so you'll know exactly when to expect your parcel. I want nothing more than a happy customer who has bought an original Dunnknit Designs item that will last forever!

So it comes to the question of..... 'Can you keep such a high standard of quality when larger quantities are needed?'

To me the answer is quite simply 'No!' not without outsourcing for help anyway, in which case in my view quality often suffers.

Do I want to expand Dunnknit Designs to be a Merino Wool empire making huge quantities of my designs?

No, I don't! I'm more than happy making my one of a kind designs where quality is key.

Do I want Dunnknit Designs to grow bigger to the point where I need to expand and look for knitters and crocheters to make my designs for me?

Definitely not! I am a designer and maker through and through who has emanated from an artistic background where quality and individuality is of the utmost importance. To me, each and every item that I make is a work of art and has a personality of its own. This is the joy of working with a natural product. It is never quite the same each time.